Where: BAGAN ‘Standing on the eastern banks of the Ayeyarwady River, Bagan is most famous for the Bagan Archaeological Area, where more than 2,000 Buddhist monuments tower over green plains. Every one of the temples, stupas and pagodas has its own unique story to tell, and many can be freely explored – inside and out. To get a bit more background and history when you are in Bagan, as well as see an impressive collection of artefacts from the region, you may want to pay a visit to the Bagan Archaeological Museum’
The tour: Cycling Tour of Bagan
You will be met at the hotel by your guide who will bring the bikes, at a time best convenient to you, however we would recommend around 9am, and after donning safety equipment you start the riding adventure leaving the busy roads behind and venturing off onto dirt tracks, only accessed by bikes and horses. It’s surprising how quickly you will travel the village roads passing single-story bamboo houses standing adjacent to unique brick warehouses built in 1950s and get onto the temple plains where you begin to enjoy the historical sites from two wheels.
You will ride alongside ancient brick structures, making stops at your own discretion to visit famous monuments like Shwesandaw, Ananda and Shwezigon Pagodas, but your guide will also make suggestions so you don’t miss out on any hidden gems. A slight incline will take you to the Bagan Plain for a different perspective. Lunch is local affair of traditional Myanmar cuisine, usually consisting of salad, rice & curry/soup. Just time enough to recharge your batteries before you set off again.
What many, on other modes of transport, will miss is the opportunities you will have to interact with farmers and locals working in the fields next to bike lanes. Local people here are very friendly and welcoming to visitors in their hometown. Stop en-route to learn about the production of local treats, buy from roadside vendors, pause and view the livestock, say ‘hi’ to local children etc.
In addition to being the home of sacred temples Bagan itself is a buzzing little town where you can learn much about the traditions and lifestyles of indigenous people before cycling back to your hotel for a well-earned rest and reflection.